Speech by Mr Mhlati, leader of the UDM in the Eastern Cape Legislature

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Premier and Executive, Honourable Members and government officials I would like to express a word of appreciation to the former MEC for Finance and Treasury for the wonderful work he did during his tenure to uplift the standard of performance by Treasury as stipulated in Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act.

Treasury has succeeded in assisting the various Departments to manage the financial resources of the Province in full compliance of the provisions of the PFMA and Treasury Regulations.

If the Department was a plane I would say the pilot can just put it on auto flight because it can now cruise on its own without manual assistance.

The only outstanding matter which I would like treasury to take up with the office of the premier up to Pretoria is the upgrading of the salary scales of the internal auditors so that they can be attracted to work for the government.

The endeavours made by treasury to assist the municipalities in their financial management issues as required by the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act is being hampered by the failure of the Municipalities to appoint personnel with the requisite skills and qualifications for the positions as required in terms of the provisions of the Municipal Systems Act.

It is high time that the Honourable MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs working together with the Premier of the province should address the political instability in Municipalities which have a negative effect on the performance of the Municipalities.

Even if we can work together without changing the working environment in Municipalities we will never move South Africa forward. They are the centres for service delivery to our people.

Treasury had canvassed us to encourage civil servants to take early pension before we do that he must show us the commitment that people who exit the civil service are paid their exit benefits within a month of leaving the service. Some people have died waiting for the payment of their benefits. In every budget funds for the payment of these benefits should be ring-fenced in each Department as most of the people who are going on retirement are well known within the Department.

A word of appreciation also goes to the chairperson of this committee for inviting all chairpersons to be present at the meeting of the Committee when dealing with transversal matters. I think that the exposure has opened the minds of the Honourable Members on how the funds of the Province are handled. However, there appears to be a need for a workshop to be conducted among the members on how the budget of the Province is being crafted up to the last stage to avoid unplanned requests for increases towards the end of the process.

The UDM fully supports the report of the Committee and its recommendations.

I thank you